Video – COVID Protestor Has His Day in Court

In Local

A COVID protestor that stood in front of Victoria Hall for approximately two-years on Saturday afternoons had the last of his two tickets dealt with in Cobourg Court.

Graham Walker was one of many people who recieved $880.00 tickets under the Emergency Measures and Civil Protection Act for not abiding by the stay-at-home orders issued by the Province of Ontario in April and May of 2021.

Walker received four tickets for protesting outside Victoria Hall every Saturday and handing out newspapers.

Two of the tickets were withdrawn, and Walker went to court to fight the other two.
Justice of the Peace Jack LeBlanc handed down the judgement almost three years after Walker received the tickets.

Walker was self represented in court for the seven appearances on the matters with the counsel for the prosecution Tom Walton.

During the time he was protesting, Walker was handing out Druthers newspapers.

During court proceedings Walker quoted former Prime Minister John Diefenbaker during a debate in the House of Commons on July 1, 1960, “I am Canadian, a free Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship God in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, free to choose those who govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold myself and all mankind.”

LeBlanc stated that the Court is bound by decisions reached by higher Courts.

“It is open to the Court to find that a reasonable person, in their attempt to meet the intent of the Stay-at-Home Order would have gone out, done their shopping, and immediately returned home. Mr. Walker instead chose to protest peaceful in the downtown area of Cobourg for an extended period of time.”

Court found that Walker’s, “primary purpose” were to protest COVID-19 restrictions.

Speaking outside the court building Walker said, “it’s what I expected.”

“Things kind of went crazy and it continued on here.”

Walker still shakes his head at Cobourg Police spending upwards of $40,000 to have officers in front of Victoria Hall to hand out tickets to a group peacefully protesting.

“We’re in Canada. We’re not in China.”

“We have a long history going back to Magna Carta being able to use our mouth, to peacefully assemble and say that we don’t agree with our government.”

An estimated $35,000 worth of tickets were handed out to protestors, but Walker added, “that at this point, I’m one of the few convictions with fines. Most were tossed out, or a lot were settled for zero dollars.”

It took Walker approximately 200-hours to research his case, but at the end of the day he said, “I’ve had my day in court.”

“I think this is wrong what happened to Ontario and Canada which is why I’m being very public about this. It’s not about me. It’s about what’s happening to our Country. You have no option but to stand up and fight for it.”

During the lockdown, there were only a limited number of reasons for people to be out. Banking and shopping were just two of them which Walker said he did.

“But I also protested. I was there for legitimate reasons, but that gives me a conviction.”

Looking back on the four tickets, Walker said, “it blows my mind.”

“I can’t believe what’s happened in Canada and here in Cobourg. For me it was always about free choice for all the issues that have come up through this. It’s just crazy to think that I’m standing in front of the town hall, peacefully handing out a newspaper can end up with a $880.00 ticket.”

But he has hope that Canadians are “waking up and figuring out what happened during this COVID bs.”

“Things are improving and I hope we can remember our heritage and that we actually do value freedom in this country.”

Walker said he would be weighing his options about whether to appeal the decision.

Pete Fisher
Author: Pete Fisher

Has been a photojournalist for over 30-years and have been honoured to win numerous awards for photography and writing over the years. Best selling author for the book Highway of Heroes - True Patriot Love

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